© Omer Knaz

Watches

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo is the first true collectible watch of the modern era

And now the record-breaking family of ultra-flat watches has created the world’s thinnest chronograph

Records rarely tumble in the field of ultra-thin watchmaking, thanks to the fiendish difficulty involved in shedding thickness in a mechanically powered watch. So when five records fall in as many years, well, people take notice. The famed Roman jeweller Bulgari has long been famous for creating one-of-a-kind watch designs, powered in the Seventies by a collaboration with Gérald Genta. But in 2014 the direction and speed of travel changed markedly with the arrival of the remarkable Octo Finissimo. Focusing on the ultra-flat sector was a savvy move, as it traditionally belonged to haute horlogerie brands, but it was a new technical challenge at which the house was keen to excel. In short order, Bulgari launched the world’s thinnest tourbillon in 2014, the world’s thinnest minute repeater in 2016, the thinnest automatic movement in 2017 and, just for good measure, the world’s thinnest automatic tourbillon in 2018.

© Omer Knaz

All of this has been achieved by a radical redesign of Genta’s emblematic Octo case by director of its watch design centre Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, the perfect synthesis of Italian style and Swiss know-how. Whether made from titanium, ceramic or carbon, each time the famous octagon within a circle case has been finessed to reduce the depth of the watch until any thought of achieving greater efficiencies seems, frankly, delusional. Now it’s delivered the coup de grâce to anyone wishing to follow in its footsteps: the world’s thinnest chronograph that, thanks to a peripheral rotor, features a self-winding calibre just 3.3mm thick. Furthermore, it’s fitted with a GMT function and a power reserve of 55 hours, making the latest in Bulgari’s range of modern masterpieces perhaps the most wearable world-beater on the market today.

© Omer Knaz

The hands: Despite the need to minimise depth, the Finissimo’s hands are faceted, rather than flat.

The GMT function : Set using this button, the local time zone is shown on the sub dial at three o’clock.

The dial : Rather than “stepping” the dial to increase clearance for the hands, the dial of the Octo Finissimo is flat.

The movement : Fitted with a peripheral rotor, the self-winding chronograph calibre offers a 55-hour power reserve.

How slim? This slim…Made from titanium, the case (which is 42mm across and just 6.9mm thick) features a sandblasted titanium dial and matching bracelet.

£12,100. bulgari.com

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